Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Handmade Christmas Presents

I wanted to share with you a few of the handmade gifts that s and b received for Christmas. The little vanity and stool was hand-painted and refinished by my sister. It's such a sweet piece of furniture. s loves to sit on the stool and look at herself in the mirror.

And this dress was made by another sister from the Kyoko Modkid pattern by Patty Young. I recognized the print right away as Alexander Henry. You can read more about the dress at Elvy Crafts, my sister's blog.

Here is the same dress with the reverse side of the obi sash. So cute. S loves it; but I think I love it even more than she does. Modkid has a doll-sized pattern too. hmmm.....

Speaking of dolls, remember the cinderella dresses? Well, here they are in action. S hasn't really warmed up to the AG doll yet. But I have big plans for her. It will be fun to sew sweet little matching doll clothes.
I've taken a few days off sewing but am now itching to get back to my sewing machine. More clothes for s and maybe even something for baby b. And I've also signed on to the Style Stitches Monthly Bag Challenge. You can find details of the challenge here.
Have a safe and happy new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Princess and the Pea

I was inspired to make this gift set for s. when I read this post, by Make it Perfect. I love how this turned out! The book is The Princess and the Pea, by Lauren Child. It is a well-written, beautifully illustrated story.

For the doll, I used the Margot pattern from the book Wee Wonderfuls, by Hillary Lang. The doll is actually a topsy-turvy doll that when flipped is two versions of the same doll. This end is the dressed-down version. The picture above is the dressed up version.

I must say that the doll was more difficult than I expected it to be. There was a lot of handsewing and little details that were a bit frustrating. I don't think it really had anything to do with the pattern, just my lack of patience and the fact that I had a self-imposed looming deadline. So after a couple of nights of going to bed in the early hours of the morning, I was able to finish her in time for Christmas.

The backpack is of course made from the Made by Rae Toddler Backpack pattern. The print is Heather Ross Far Far Away Princess and the Pea fabric. I could only find this print in double gauze which is a very light thin cotton with a more textured and looser weave than voile. So I interfaced it and lined it with canvas. I added a bit of length to the pattern, about 3 quarters of an inch, to fit the whole princess in. Originally, this was supposed to fit the doll and the mattresses, but ended up way too small for everything. So presently, the princess resides in a cardboard box. I am thinking of gluing some cute paper in the box to make it look like a wallpapered bedroom. But that is a project for another day...

Here is a detail of the mattresses. I only had time to make seven, not the twelve that was in the book. I found some trim scraps I had to add a bit of detail and interest to the mattresses. I also made a liitle pillow and a tiny purse to hold the pea. The pea itself is a from a pom pom trim.
I would love to add a blanket and a crown someday and maybe a little coat. But for now I am taking a couple of days rest from sewing and going to bed at a decent hour.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Keyka Lou Bags

My last bag for one more niece! This is a Keyka Lou City Tote. The pattern can be found here. I really love how this turned out. The bag is smallish, more like a purse in my opinion. It has an inside pocket and an outer pocket with a button and loop closure.

The pattern was super easy and quick. It was done in basically a couple of hours from start to finish.

The focus fabric is by Erin McMorris from her Weekends line and the polka dots are Michael Miller. I have tons of his polka dot left and it will probably show up in a few other projects.

And here is a coordinating little keychain pouch, pattern also by Keyka Lou. Again this is a teeny tiny "clutch." It will probably fit a lipstick, a few cards, a bit of change, but not much else. The attached key ring makes it perfect for a night on the town. I think that next time I make this I will add a little wristlet loop. Oh, and I made this for S's dance teacher as a teacher gift. Along with a starbucks card and a little mug.

If you are looking for quick--almost instant gratification--projects, then I highly recommend these two patterns. Keyka Lou does a wonderful job of providing very clear and concise directions. Thanks Linh, for turning me on to such a great designer!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bags, Bags, and More Bags

So happy to be done with these bags. I think my tolerance level was really stretched by the 4th bag. But now they are done and I love the fabric combinations.

The fabric for this one is Anna Maria Horner Drawing Room Home dec for the main panels and a home dec from JoAnn's for the handles.

This bag is a total copycat from the book Style Stitches by Amy Butler that this pattern came from. You might recall that the main fabric was used for S's coat. The orange solid is Kona.

A couple of home dec fabrics again from JoAnn's. I used the main fabric to re-cover a chid-sized rocking chair in the playroom and had lots left over. Enough to make this bag and part of another bag.
All the fabrics came from my stash and were either left overs from other projects or just fabrics I had lying around.
I'm super proud of myself for using up some of my stash.
Still have lots of Christmas sewing to do. But I think I'm done with the Cosmo Bag.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Handmade Christmas?

This is what my ironing board looks like today. Three Cosmo Bags all cut up, almost ready for sewing.

You can find the Cosmo Bag Pattern is Amy Butler's newest book, Style Stitches. This is the first bag that I completed over the Thanksgiving Weekend.

Here is an inside view. I added a zippered pocket. The pattern had plain divided pockets like the other side. I also omitted the interfacing on the lining; the bag didn't need the added thickness because I used a home decor weight fabric.
I really like the end result. So much so that I am making 4 and possibly 5 more for my nieces and a friend. It's a very roomy bag that can easily convert into many functions: beach bag, book bag, shopping bag. I like the zippered pocket to keep wallets and keys from falling out. The big covered button and button loop adds a lot of style.

And finally, my friend and neighbor hosted a craft night where we made collages using canvas, modpodge, and scrapbook paper. The idea came from Martha Stewart and she has a couple of ready-made templates on her website. I came up with my own. Not really, I borrowed the Holly Hobby image from the internet and it was just a matter of tracing, cutting and pasting. A simple and quick project and oh so cute!
Hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season!